Here's an interesting bit of info from the Nielsen folks: over 400,000 women are playing World of Warcraft in the US, which means it's the most-played "core" game for that gender. And even more interesting, females 25 years or older make up the largest block of PC game players overall, and they account for 54.6% of all gameplay minutes in December of last year. Girls don't just play WoW -- they're quickly becoming one of it's main demographics.
You can read the report in PDF form over here -- the chart above might be the most interesting piece of information, as it shows that though males still make up a huge part of the PC gaming audience, many of them have now moved on to consoles, and women (especially older women, over 25), during the last month of last year, are making up a huge audience for PC games. Later in the report, you can see what kinds of games women are really playing: Solitare, Freecell, Minesweeper, and all of those other little attention grabbers on every PC. But among those widespread casual games is our own World of Warcraft. And while the 25-52 male audience of 675, 713 for that game still remains larger than the female audience in the same demo, the ladies aren't far behind.
Neilsen also calculated some base stats for WoW, including the fact that 1.8 million unique people played the game, and the average time of gameplay per week was 744 minutes, just over 12 hours (slightly up from last year's average). Additionally, of those who play World of Warcraft, their second most-played game was Solitaire, followed by Warcraft III. Fascinating stuff. Remember that these are statistics, so they are more general trends than anything else, but
Blizzard's official contest isn't the only one running, either. Fan sites around the blogosphere (good gosh I hate that term) are giving them away like crazy, and we even have a nice stack of our own that we'll be giving away soon. Keep an eye out, and seriously- enter these contests, whether it's ours or Blizzard's or someone else's contest. This book is worth the effort, and the collector's edition is pretty classy. Remember, this is coming from someone who thinks many of the Warcraft novels are pretty terrible.
There has been a certain amount of confusion about what exactly is going on with emblems in Ulduar. We've known for a while that Emblems of Valor, which currently drop from 25-man Naxxramas, are going to drop in 10-man Ulduar, and that Ulduar-25 is going to drop a new badge: Emblem of Conquest. However, there were some rumors that the EoVs from Uld-10 would be a different "color" than the EoVs from Naxx-25, enabling purchase of some gear for the new EoVs that would not be buyable with the Naxx-25 EoVs. There have also been various theories about whether Tier 8 tokens would be buyable with emblems, like some of the T7 tokens are now.
Vaneras has gone and clarified these questions and more, in a FAQ post on the European forums. I'll try to distill the information that I found useful into a few bullet points.
The EoVs in Uld-10 are the same as the ones from Naxx-25, and let you buy the same rewards.
Relics from Naxx-25 are being added to the EoV quartermasters; nothing else is being added to them at this time.
Tier 8.5 gear tokens (chest and helm) will be buyable with EoCs (from Uld-25). Tier 8.0 gear tokens will not be buyable in any way.
There will be a new EoC quartermaster with the two 8.5 tokens and additional ilvl 226 gear for purchase.
The justification for T8.0 not being buyable for tokens is that they didn't want current Naxx-25 raiders stockpiling huge numbers of EoVs to buy stuff on the 3.1 release. This does make some sense, although there are other routes they could have gone with it. Anyway, it's good to have clarification.
Totem Talk: 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 1 - Thu, 09 Apr 2009 16:30:00 EST I guess I'm gambling that the patch won't be next week. Because there's no way I can cover all the gear available for shamans in 3.1 (both set and otherwise) for three specs in anything like two weeks of this column. In addition to discussing sets for resto, elemental and enhancement there's quite a lot of non-set gear to discuss, rings, trinkets, and so on. We know that Flametongue Weapon will be changed to reassert the superiority of the slow/slow combo for enhancement, for instance, so there's also weapons to discuss. Since I know that's not possible for me to cover in one column and probably not in two, we'll just take it as it goes. This week, we'll discuss the Tier 8 sets from Ulduar 10 and 25, the Valorous and Conqueror's Worldbreaker sets. As is usual for shamans, it comes in Battlegear for Enhancement, Garb for Elemental and Regalia for Restoration. As was the case for Tier 7, the 10 and 25 man sets have the same set bonuses and will work with each other, so if you have two pieces of Tier 8 from 10 man raids and 2 pieces from 25, you'll get both set bonuses.
First up, let's look at the Conqueror's and Valorous Worldbreaker Battlegear.
We are, unfortunately, late in awarding our first ever Guild of the Month winner, but we've got a good reason: when we contacted Nytrok, the guildmaster, he was away in France for the 60th anniversary of NATO, and as an Air Force Corporal in the Canadian Forces, was meeting with the Prime Minister and Chief of Defense Staff. Very impressive! But fortunately, he found the time to send us some information about the guild, and we're glad to award him and | The Holy Crusade | of Bleeding Hollow our first Guild of the Month.
For winning, they'll recieve not only a profile right here in this post (check after the break to see why we chose them as winners this month), but also a raid pack from Swagdog.com, which includes a big stack of custom-made guild apparel for them to distribute among their guildies and officers as they see fit. If you didn't win but still want to show some guild pride, Swagdog has hats and t-shirts that can be emblazoned with your guild's name and tabard, as well as your character's name and class logo. Huge thanks to them for sponsoring our content.
And of course we're now opening up nominations for the April Guild of the Month. To enter, send us an email (no more than 200 words please) to firstname.lastname@example.org stating why your guild deserves to win. Please note that you must be from the US or Canada (excluding Quebec), as them's the legal rules, and also note that even if you sent us an email last month, you must re-nominate your guild if you want to be considered again. You can send us the same message if you want (there were a lot of good guilds that we had to pass up because there was only one winner), but we've got to keep everything current, so please re-send. Official rules are still here, and this month's deadline will be midnight on May 7th.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Good afternoon, ladies and gents! Let's waste no time and jump right in today, shall we? Horris asked...
"I have a question. What's with the sudden change from red to yellow sockets between T7 and T8 for warrior tanks?"
Sockets have always been notorious for not being the optimal color for certain specs and classes. T7 seemed like the odd duck to me in that case, where the sockets were generally pretty good for most classes. Now they're back to being sort of weird like has almost always been the case.
Most of you are excited for 3.1 so you can start raiding Ulduar, or take advantage of the new class changes. But I know what some of you are on pins and needles for. It's the new title The Insane.
Insane In The Membrane is exactly what it sounds like -- an achievement for people who are completely nuts. To earn this title you must be willing to spend a lot of time destroying and raising obscure factions in Azeroth. I mean a lot of time. It requires that attain the following:
Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers Exalted with Everlook Exalted with Ratchet Exalted with Booty Bay Exalted with Gadgetzan Exalted with Ravenholdt Exalted with Darkmoon Faire Exalted with Shen'dralar
If you want to get started on this brain-breaking journey, just follow the jump.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Ionar electrocuted Ichoron in the ring to emerge victorious in this week's fantasy boss deathmatch. The electricity vs. water matchup evoked theories ranging from the fantastic to the scientific ... to the Pokemon. (It's true -- we suspect more than a few readers actually cast votes for Ionar over Ichoron based on Pokemon. /facepalm) Ichoron definitely carried the support of readers who took time to break down the fight in the comments, yet in the end, Ionar jolted out the final vote.
"Ichoron would win," theorized jafari. "It goes like this: They trade spells for a while, then Ichoron protective bubbles. Ionar, believing this one to be in the bag, casts Static Overload on Ichoron, hoping to kill the elementals as they approach, but Ichoron is immune. Desperate, Ionar casts it on one of the elementals, hoping to AOE some of the little buggers."
Guild promos can be tricky things. They serve a few different purposes. Some, like yesterday's Das Strafgericht, celebrate things that a guild has already done together. Others, however, like today's Beyond Godlike, is a teaser for the future. It's meant to inspire the guild, and help prepare them for what they will be doing together.
The author, Draix, dropped me a note about the Beyond Godlike trailer, asking if I had some tips. That's a little tough, because a good movie review has to be focused on the purpose of the movie. If the purpose of this piece was to be a music video, I'd be forced to say it fails. But, if I guess correctly that the trailer is meant to rile up his Guild for what's coming when 3.1 drops, I'd say the video is outstanding already.
I love the character tableaus. While they're not riddled with character depth, they clearly indicate a sense of purpose and action. The way Draix frames each model sets up a sense of purpose and action. The sweeping score he chose builds a sense of excitement. The hints of Ulduar shown in the architecture he displays warms us to the subject. He's done a good job building a feeling of adventure.
If there were an area I'd like to see Draix develop, I guess it would have to be in providing his trailer a narrative focus. His character shots, like I said, definitely hint at purpose and action, but I'd like to see some context. Is the paladin fighting undead for personal reasons (angst? tragedy?), or is he just knocking out a daily? A little more information about what's going on would be nice, but I still like the feeling that this is a "gathering of heroes."
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch
Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.
This mod is strictly for Death Knights. Fortunately, I figure at least half of the WoW population has a Death Knight at this point, so a post like this isn't so much of a problem.
What is a problem is Blizz's official rune UI (at right). I love Blizzard to tiny pieces, but they dropped the ball there, in my opinion. Aside from the icons being a bit ugly and inscrutable, it's flat-out difficult to tell the state of your runes at a glance on the default display. The little rotating line that is supposed to tell you when your runes is ready again is also hard to read, at least for me. And watching critical debuffs on the default target frame is less than pleasant.
Fortunately, DeathKnight.Info Runes and Disease are here to give us all that vital information in readable and flexible form. The default state of the addon (as seen at the top right of this post) has way too much artwork for me; any pixels that don't contain information don't have a place on my screen. There's too much info I want to keep track of. But that's alright, because DKi Runes is extremely customizable.
While in the Halls of Lightning one day, an unfortunately timed Killing Spree sent Octalas of TalmaheRä off a ledge and deep into a pit. There, he found himself surrounded by Loken's army of unliving warriors, the indomitable iron vrykul. These seem to be based off the real-life Terracotta Army, created by the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to protect him in the afterlife and totally creep out tourists. Octalas may have become an unliving warrior himself; he writes that there is no way back out of the pit once you fall in.
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
This is one of the quickest and easiest dailies to complete for your Argent Tournament prestige. The questgiver asks simply that you kill 10 Scourge units in Icecrown.
Remember, in 3.1 any mob that will grant you quest credit will show as much on their tooltip when you mouseover them. Use this to your advantage and don't waste your time with an AOE pack that won't give you credit!
Given its close proximity to the Tournament grounds, many players are likely to flock to Sindragosa's Fall to kill the Scourge mobs there, including Frostbrood Whelps and Cultist Corrupters. You have some other choices, though -- the Valley of Lost Hope is chock-full of mobs that grant quest credit, as is Aldur'thar, and both are close enough to the Grounds that you don't need to fly all around the zone just to get your quest done.
I mean, the Tempest Keep dance-off is obviously a joke, but I'm sure I don't ever want to see it in-game. As much as I know the change to Spiritual Attunement actually works better for the class, there was a point where I wish they never implemented it. Or even -- argh -- the bubble-breaking Shattering Throw. But these things are actually really good changes that will improve gameplay. So here we go... what feature in Patch 3.1 are you dreading the most? To be honest, I think everything's going to improve the game, but not everything will be rosy for everyone. I mean, I'm sure more than a few Death Knights will miss Shadow of Death, right? Engineers will miss the burst of the Lightning Generator (sorry, Arena guys...). Is there anything you're not looking forward to in the inevitable patch?
Do you enjoy Buddhist's over-the-top PvP videos, such as Ming Must Die? RogueRogue.com is (probably) proud to present: Six Silent Shadows. Be warned, this video contains some vulgar language. Okay, maybe a lot of vulgar language. Consider it NSFW.
"Oops GTG TTYL bye" - heard that one before, in the middle of an instance? You don't want to be that guy.
Today's World of Warcraft is a far cry from Tomb Raider or Lego Indiana Jones, which can leave you writhing in your chair for what seems like an eternity before your next save point. For an MMO, WoW's gameplay has become reasonably bite-sized - so don't get caught virtually chewing with your mouth open by dropping out of groups early.
True, many instances can be completed so quickly and many players are so experienced that dashing through a quick instance can seem almost trivial. But a group is a social creature, and accepting a group invitation means accepting a reasonable responsibility to treat the other players' time with respect.
That's all guessing, of course. And we have no idea whether the phasing reference and Gilneas are even in the same patch -- I speculated long ago that the Emerald Dream expansion could be an entirely phased version of old Azeroth, which could completely revamp the 1-60 experience. So who knows? But Blizzard, as they always do, know something, and while they might let on soon, they're not telling right now.
This is a series of daily guides intended to guide you through the Argent Tournament as quickly and painlessly as possible. We'll have guides for each daily going live in the weeks to come. Keep your eyes peeled and your lances ready!
So, Argent Tournament aspirant. You want to start beating up dudes on their mounts, right? Of course. Any aspiring champion does. But before you can, you'd better familiarize yourself with mounted combat controls.
Don't worry! Your Sunreaver or Silver Convenant reps have you covered, and they'll even pay you to learn how!
First, visit the Tournament grounds and find your faction's base of operations-- the red Sunreavers tent or the blue Silver Covenant tent.
Vaneras has posted the latest EU Arena tournament rankings over on the forums (after the latest phase ended), and it looks like PMR has found their way back on top across the pond: Priest/Mage/Rogue teams have taken over the top three spots. The Death Knight/Paladin/DPS teams, formerly dominating, have fallen down to just two spots out of ten, and two Shamans have made an appearance, one partnered with a Druid and a Mage, and the other with a Lock and Hunter. Very interesting.
We should see the US standings posted soon. You can see the rest of the EU teams in the big listing over on the Armory if you want. Phase 4 of the tournament, Vaneras says, will be an invitational, and will start next week on April 14th. Congrats to all of the winners so far, and good luck in the rest of the tourney!
I'm very "up" on PuGs. I started my career as a PuG tank and met a lot of great players that way, many of whom I still raid with today. I've always been a stout supporter of throwing caution to the wind and joining LFG for an afternoon to see where it'll take you; it's been my experience that random players on your realm can and often will surprise you.
Once you master the art of the 5-person PuG, the ultimate risk is a raid PuG. One-shot the instance, or spend the night wiping? You won't know until you try.
I used to run Hyjal PuG's in late Burning Crusade and got to be the person in charge of arranging healers on Anetheron, explaining where to die on Azgalor, and uttering a hollow laugh at suggestions on whether or not Archimonde was in the cards (answer: hell no). I wasn't around for my guild's Naxx run one of these past weeks, and a few guildies were interested in gearing up their alts, so we thought -- PuG a 25-man Naxx? Why not?